‘But my men did not kill the best sheep and cattle that they captured; instead, they brought them here to Gilgal to offer as a sacrifice to the LORD your God.’
Samuel said, ‘Which does the LORD prefer: obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him. Rebellion against him is as bad as witchcraft, and arrogance is as sinful as idolatry. Because you rejected the LORD’s command, he has rejected you as king.’ (verses 21-23)
God’s grace is infinite. Indeed, by his grace, God has adopted you and me as his own dearly loved children and showered us with his care, his gifts and his forgiveness all of our days up to today. He did the same for Saul. Saul was given the gift of being king and all that went with it.
But, for Saul and also for us, with the great gift of forgiveness and grace comes the call to obey. Today we hear of Saul’s unwillingness to live the call. Again he takes matters into his own hands. His motives seem quite noble. We might even think that God would praise Saul for his initiative in bringing home the livestock for a great sacrifice.
But that’s not the point. You and I are called to obey our Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to place even our most noble plans m Jesus’ hands. Living in the grandeur of God’s grace, given to you in Jesus by the Spirit, means living in unswerving allegiance and obedience to him every day.
Spirit of God, you have given me a place in God’s family and have given me many gifts. Give me the gift of faithfulness, so that I may serve my Lord Jesus with all my heart this day and always. Amen.
by Adrian Kitson, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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